THE owner of a farmhouse near Worcester who blasted a burglar with a shotgun to protect his £20,000 cannabis factory said he wished he had “finished him off”, a court was told.

Malcolm White shot Robert Richards, whom he caught trying to smash the double-glazed front window of Stocking Gobbetts, in Whitbourne, on October 5 , 2011.

The 64-year-old was defending his drug operation and was prepared to shoot and ask questions later, prosecuting solicitor Simon Phillips told Worcester Crown Court yesterday.

The court heard how White’s partner at the time, Jacqueline Merrick, said that after the shooting, he had walked into the kitchen holding a shotgun and said: “I got the b.....d. I wish I had finished him off.”

White denies unlawfully wounding Richards – who was later found severely injured outside a Chinese takeaway in the village of Leigh Sinton a few mile away – with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

The 30-year-old has since had his leg amputated due to the severity of the gunshot wound.

Mr Phillips told the court there was no doubt that White shot Richards at a distance of four to five metres.

There was also no doubt that Richards was a burglar and, with two others, was attempting to break into the isolated farmhouse.

Householders were allowed to defend themselves, their loved ones and their property, he said, but White was no ordinary householder.

Mr Phillips said the issue was whether White acted in self-defence or shot Richards by accident.

The prosecution’s suggestion was that because of the background, White had acted unreasonably by using potentially lethal force against Richards.

He had taken the initiative by shooting Richards before he knew the real nature of the threat that he presented.

The court was told how Richards had an accomplice who was armed with a .44 pistol, but this was discharged some time after he had been shot.

The suggestion was that the intruders had intended to immobilise White and his partner before robbing them of the cannabis plants.

Cable ties which could be used as plastic handcuffs were found on the driveway of the property.

White, who had occasional visits from men dealing in growing equipment, was suspicious because an outside security light had been damaged.

Conscious of a threat, he had amassed a collection of 20 firearms, not all legal, hidden in various parts of the house. He also had shotgun cartridges and other ammunition, as well as an alarm system which he had not installed.

He and his partner were in the lounge watching TV on the night of October 5, 2011, when they heard someone trying to smash the front window with a hammer or some other tool.

Miss Merrick said she heard three shots, two of which sounded as if they were from a pistol.

She went into the kitchen and heard someone say “he’s got him”, followed by “we’ve got to get him out of here”.

Mr Phillips said a car and a van were waiting in the lane at the end of the drive, which drove Richards off and took him to the Chinese takeaway in Leigh Sinton where he was discovered.

The court heard how Miss Merrick said White came into the kitchen after the shooting.

However, before the police were called, White went for a short drive and on his return, changed the shotgun he had been using.

When interviewed by police, he denied saying saying “I got the b*****d” and said he didn’t aim at the raider and didn’t think he had hit him.

He said he had started growing cannabis four months before the incident by spending £20,000 and wanted to protect his enterprise from prying eyes.

He thought the raiders were maily targeting his car, or wanted to attack his safe.

Mr Phillips told the court that White was not just a scared householder using a weapon to defend himself in bewildering circumstances.

The trial continues.